Sudan’s democratic transition is under duress as the military seeks validation for its hold on power via the reinstatement of a figurehead civilian prime minister.
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The ongoing forced displacement of a third of the population and a conflict-driven food crisis threatening more than half of all South Sudanese underscores the grave human costs of the country’s destructive politics.
The catastrophic levels of instability that have engulfed South Sudan since 2013 demand a restructuring of governance and security institutions to alter the tragic trajectory of Africa’s youngest state.
Proactive management of the transition to civilian rule would afford the Sudanese military more stability, budgetary support, and professional benefits.
An academic webinar series exploring the lessons learned of the roles of the security sector and national security strategy development during times of transition from military to civilian rule. The webinar series provided an opportunity to share evidence-based insights and experiences and their implications for Sudan during its challenging transition to a civilian-led, democratic government.
Sudan needs a national security strategy to guide the reforms of its security sector from a tool of repression to sustain the old regime to a professional force that protects citizens under a democratic system.
Despite multiple ceasefires and peace agreements signed since the conflict began in 2013, the humanitarian costs to citizens continue to grow.
The Taking of South Sudan: The Tycoons, Brokers, and Multinational Corporations Complicit in Hijacking the World’s Newest State
Vast corruption networks corruption operate in South Sudan, from Chinese-led oil conglomerates and American arms dealers to profiteering British businessmen and high-level government officials implicated in pillaging the country’s natural resources and perpetuating conflict. Several cases of corruption show how regional and international financial institutions, foreign companies, and corrupt individuals facilitate and reinforce policies that deprive citizens of their fair share of the nation’s wealth.
Stability in South Sudan will require addressing fundamental drivers of conflict including weak national identity and state structures, the securitization of governance, and the lack of accountable leadership.
Transforming the protests into genuine democratic change in Sudan will require maintaining an organized reform coalition and reaching an understanding with military leaders.
Moving Toward Mobility: Providing Protection to Civilians Through Static Presence and Mobile Peacekeeping in South Sudan
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)’s limited resources are insufficient to fulfill its mandate. Barriers to UNMISS effectiveness include inflexible human resources policies, lack of freedom of movement due to obstacles set by South Sudanese government, and issues engaging with local communities. The problem of inadequate troops and civilian staff deployed to such a large country could be alleviated by a more mobile and responsive approach to achieving the mission’s mandate. Increased mobility, including rapid response capability, long-range patrols, and temporary remote deployments, requires support from the UN Secretariat and member states’ to succeed.
Omar al Bashir’s emergency declaration aims to consolidate support within the military while popular protests continue to demand change.